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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of December 19 - 25, 2001


‘Mixed-use’ complex covers entire block

New Christiania Building opens soon

Express Staff Writer

Sheets of plastic still protect parts of the new Christiania Building in Ketchum, but retail spaces on its ground level will open soon, including some this week.

The new Christiania Building is located on Sun Valley Road in Ketchum between Walnut and Spruce avenues. Express photo by Willy Cook

Rochelle Runge said she might be able to open Thursday.

Runge owns and operates Elle Rose, a women’s wear store which specializes in European designers, "from casual to evening wear, all the way."

Jodi Webber of Sagebrush Interiors and Gallery predicted a similar opening date.

Sagebrush Interiors sells artwork, furniture, bedding and flatware.

Jack Bariteau Jr., the "managing member" of Christiania LLC, said that several other retailers have already signed leases.

He listed Fox Creek Fabrics and Interiors, the Joseph Kinnebrew Gallery, and Armstrong and Root Opticians.

An Italian restaurant will lease the corner spot across from the Community Library. He said the owners signed a lease, but haven’t come up with a name yet.

Bariteau bought the Christiania Lodge in 1999 about the time he was finishing up the Colonnade Building at the corner of Sun Valley Road and Walnut Avenue.

The Colonnade and the Christiania buildings take up an entire city block on Sun Valley Road, between Walnut and Spruce avenues.

He said he liked the challenge of "controlling what happened to the rest of the block," and so he kept the lodge open while he developed plans for a new Christiania.

Bariteau called the Christiania Building "a true mixed-use type of product," with underground parking, a ground floor for retail, a second floor for offices, and a third floor for residential penthouses.

The entire building is approximately 51,000 square feet.

He said he expects the office spaces to be ready for leasing by mid- to late-January, and the five penthouses to be ready for sale by mid-February.

Pleased with the new building, Bariteau said, "All projects have their own kind of life with their own nuances of difficulties and problems."

One of the initial problems with the project was that the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission thought the Christiania Building would look too much like the Colonnade Building.

But, he said, the Colonnade was so "well-received" that this objection didn’t last long.

"It all coalesced into an attractive building, which I hope will be considered a landmark," he said.

He said the new retail and office space now available in the Christiania would help expand the variety of retail and office space available in Ketchum.

"The new space is an opportunity to bring in a new business merchandising mix," he said.

Although the new building is to be formally known as the Christiania Building, Bariteau said "the name of the building is not as important as the quality of the building."

"I’ve been in the development industry for 17 years, and I’ve learned people will tend to give their own name to a building.

"A lot of people refer to the Colonnade Building as Tully’s."

For the sake of trivia, the name Christiania refers to a type of alpine ski turn and is the former name of Oslo, Norway.

The Christiania Lodge once coexisted as a separate business with the Christiania Restaurant. The lodge was demolished in two days in June 2000, and the Christiania Restaurant, on Sun Valley Road, is now Michel’s Christiania Restaurant.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.